Always Remember Krishna - Part 11

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev! 

This is in continuation of the previous offerings titled, "Always Remember Krishna" wherein we were meditating on Arjuna's experiences once Krishna returned to Goloka. In previous offerings we meditated on the 9 blessings recollected by Arjuna. Now we shall continue to hear further.  

Blessing 10: In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.15.17,

sautye vṛtaḥ kumatinātmada īśvaro me
yat-pāda-padmam abhavāya bhajanti bhavyāḥ
māṁ śrānta-vāham arayo rathino bhuvi-ṣṭhaṁ
na prāharan yad-anubhāva-nirasta-cittāḥ

It was by His mercy only that my enemies neglected to kill me when I descended from my chariot to get water for my thirsty horses. And it was due to my lack of esteem for my Lord that I dared engage Him as my chariot driver, for He is worshiped and offered services by the best men to attain salvation.

The Kaurava army killed Abhimanyu by unfair means. If Krishna's protection was not there, Kauravas might not have hesitated to kill Arjuna also by unfair means. But by grace of Lord Krishna, when Arjuna got down from the chariot to get water for his thirsty horses, Krishna so arranged, that they did not take notice of Arjuna. So this is one more instance as to how Krishna protected Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 

After recollecting the different kinds of blessings bestowed by the Lord, Arjuna now feels pain for not having treated the Supreme Lord properly. The word kumatinām in the above verse means - bad consciousness. Srila Prabhupada mentions it as 'lack of esteem for my Lord' in the translation. Arjuna's relationship with Krishna was primarily friendship. So he used to sit together with the Lord, dine in the same plate and even sleep on the same bed. Arjuna regrets now for having treated Krishna like an ordinary person. When he started realising the greatness of Krishna and His causeless mercy, Arjuna felt that he had not given the due respects to his dear Lord and treated Him like a chariot driver.

Another important word in the above verse is ātmada. ātmada means 'one who delivers or sells Himself to His devotee', 'one who gives Himself without any hesitation'. Krishna is so great that He sells Himself to His devotees. In second line of the above verse Arjuna says, yat-pāda-padmam abhavāya bhajanti bhavyāḥ. Here Prabhupada beautifully translates bhajanti as 'to render service'. His lotus feet are worshiped and offered services by intelligent men who want salvation. Arjuna out of his love and devotion for His dear Lord feels pained that instead of him doing bhajanti, instead of him rendering service to Lord's lotus feet, he made Krishna render service to him and that too the role of chariot driver. It is said that in battlefield, when the person in chariot wants to move in a particular direction,  they simply use their legs to signal the chariot-driver to go in a particular direction. Lord always loves to take any kind of menial service for His dear devotees and is never offended even if they happen to beat or kick them in the process. Suck kicks gives pleasure to Him just like how a pregnant mother feels happy when the child in the womb kicks.  But pure devotees like Arjuna never take pleasure in taking services from the Lord. They are always eager to serve Him and don't want the Lord to serve them. This is the nature of transcendental love between the Lord and His devotees, wherein both compete to serve each other and always feel that whatever they have done is less and that they have to do more and more.

Krishna willing let us continue to hear more from Arjuna on the other blessings that the Pandavas received, in subsequent offerings.

Hare Krishna.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.